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Traumatic Brain Injury Scans May Triple Risk of Brain Cancer

Diagnosing a Traumatic Brain Injury

Exposing your child to nuclear radiation from two or three CT head scans can triple your child’s risk of developing brain cancer later in life, according to a 20-year study published by the National Cancer Institute at the United States National Institutes of Health.

CT imaging is commonly used to diagnose children for traumatic brain injuries. The number of CT scans has increased rapidly in the United States and other wealthy countries, particularly in the past decade, because doctors constantly identify new uses for the scan – such as scanning for possible appendicitis – according to USA Today.

However, this increase exposes children to high levels of radiation that could lead to brain tumors or leukemia within a decade of the first scan.

Multiple CT scans further increase a child’s cancer risk. The researchers found radiation exposure from two to three scans can triple the risk of brain cancer, and five to ten scans can triple the risk of leukemia.

However, doctors and  The American College of Radiology say that even with these findings, it’s important not to deprive your child of a CT scan if they have a possible head injury.

Before you agree to a CT scan for your child, discuss the risks with your child’s doctor, and consider the following tips:

  •  Ask for the lowest dose of radiation possible
  •  Avoid multiple scans
  •  Ask for an ultrasound or MRI instead, which have no radiation at all

What Are The Symptoms Of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries vary depending on the type and severity of injury. With a mild brain injury, symptoms may not be present at the time of injury, and may not appear for days or even weeks.

Symptoms can be very subtle, and missed by family and even medical professionals. Common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Headache;
  • Confusion;
  • Lightheadedness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes;
  • Ringing in the ears;
  • Bad taste in the mouth;
  • Fatigue or lethargy;
  • Changes in sleep patterns;
  • Behavioral or mood changes; and
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention or thinking.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is classified as mild if loss of consciousness and/or confusion and disorientation is shorter than 30 minutes. MRI and CAT scans are often normal.

A person with a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and confusion, restlessness or agitation.

Anyone with signs of moderate or severe traumatic brain injury should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma, so medical personnel try to stabilize the individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury, and focus on preventing further injury. Primary concerns include ensuring proper oxygen supply to the brain and the body, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure.

If you believe that you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury or wrongful death resulting from a TBI due to another person’s or business’s negligence, South Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in Columbia, South Carolina, for a free consultation.




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